Archive for category Night Out

Watch Out for Tupac: Jeff Bowler & Bret Saxon

Sometimes good things are worth the wait – we just have to hope that this one comes to fruition. Many New Yorkers may not know this, but Tupac wrote the script to a movie called “Live 2 Tell” before he was murdered. Co-producers are the movie are Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon. Certainly, those who know about this hidden gem have been waiting for a long time for it to come to the big screen.

As Jeff Bowler has explained when looking for the right actors, “I received over 50 e-mails from actors, aspiring rappers, Broadway actors, from across the world wanting to send their music and head shot to me because Tupac had such an influence on their lives. It’s crazy how big Pac’s legacy lives on today.”

Jeff Bowler was first introduced to this scrip through video director Gobi. It was supposed to be part of a three-picture deal that the rapper signed shortly before he was murdered in 1996. Gobi and Tupac’s mom, Afeni Shakur, have held the script close to the chest since then.

As Jeff Bowler said, “[Afeni Shakur] is very protective of the creative control area because she doesn’t want this great urban crime saga — with a hardened redemption — turned into a comedy or anything foolish. But creatively, we’re all right on point with each other’s thoughts on the story and we can’t wait to get going.”

Bowler was amazed, when he first saw the script, but how well-written it is. As he said, “You could shoot the script as is right now and you’d have a fantastic movie. We’ll probably have to have it trimmed up a little bit, but not doctored really in any way storywise at all. Seeing Tupac’s words on paper — right from him, untouched — is pretty exciting.”

The producers are honored to have this opportunity. As Bowler said, “We’re absolutely honored. I’m in my 30s, so I grew up listening to Tupac — I grew up on a farm in New England and his music transcended all the way out to there. So it’s definitely global.”

Now, we just need the movie to get made.

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Women in Architecture Celebrated in NYC Exhibit

Pepsi Cola World Headquarters, 500 Park Avenue, Manhattan: Natalie de Blois, Senior Designer, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Photo © Ezra Stoller/Esto

Pepsi Cola World Headquarters, 500 Park Avenue, Manhattan: Natalie de Blois, Senior Designer, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Photo © Ezra Stoller/Esto

An exhibit showcasing the key role women have played in building design in New York City opened on March 4, 2015 at the Center for Architecture in the West Village. The show is called “Built By Women NYC” or “BxW NYC” and features the work of 100 women architects, landscape architects, and engineers. Their work encompasses dozens of locations all across New York’s five boroughs, and was created by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.

Beverly Willis started the foundation in 2002 for the same reasons she organized BxW NYC.

“At that point, I was very concerned about women not being in the historical narrative, not being in history books,” Willis explained. What was true back in 2002 is still true today, Willis says.

“So many companies, particularly the large companies, are still working under beliefs and values that go back to the 20th century, to the 1950s, when there were articles in the paper that said women did not have talent,” Willis said.
“What is so great about ‘Built by Women’ is that we’re demonstrating that a lot of these buildings are, in fact, built by women.”

The buildings featured in the exhibit go back to at least the 1960s. That is when Natalie de Blois designed the Pepsi Cola Corporate headquarters on Park Avenue. She was a senior designer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill at the time.
Willis would like to see more events like this throughout the country, perhaps BxW NYC becoming a “prototype of a national movement.”

Designer of the Diana Center at Barnard College, Marion Weiss, praised the exhibit for its focus on “fantastic women designers and landscape architects and engineers.”

“What’s so terrific about this event is this is unlike any kind of awards,” said Weiss, who was recognized in the exhibit for her building at 3009 Broadway in Manhattan. “All of a sudden, we’re understanding that the panorama of what we see in New York is from an enormous cohort, so many of whom are women.”

The Center for Architecture is located at 536 LaGuardia Place, between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets. For more information call 212-683-0023.

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Halloween Parade Haunts the Village

Parade goers turned out in force for the 41st annual Village Halloween Parade on Friday night. The parade began at 7pm with revelers marching down Sixth Avenue from Spring Street down to 16th Street.

41st Annual Village Halloween Parade

41st Annual Village Halloween Parade

The theme of the parade this year was the Garden of Earthly Delights, with the grand marshal of the extravaganza none other than Whoopi Goldberg. Paraders were all dressed in costumes to imitate characters from the Broadway show “On the Town.”

Parade goers were dressed in a diverse selection of costumes, including Victorian ghosts, Elvis, clowns and more.

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Larchmont Library Hosts Talk on Greenwich Village

Larchmont Library

Larchmont Library

From the comfort of the Larchmont Library interested parties were able to take a ‘virtual tour’ of the famed Greenwich Village, for free. The lecture, delivered by certified New York tour guide Martin Schneit, covered the history and key sites of this lower Manhattan neighborhood.

Schneit began with the history of what was always a gathering place for the more unconventional non-conformists in the City. In fact the name came from the birthplace of Henry the VIII, one of England’s most iconoclastic of kings.

When the leaders of New York instituted the grid system onto the streets of Manhattan, including 12 avenues and 155 streets using simple numbers, residents of Greenwich Village rejected the plan, choosing instead to create their own original street plan, relying on the Indian foot paths as their main thoroughfares. The paths had been used ever since wealthy families moved in in 1789, and they wished to give those paths appropriate names.

“That’s one of the reasons the bohemians in the 1920s wanted that area,” Schneit said. “They figured, ‘Gee, nobody’s going to find us.’ “

Shneit focused on the aptly named “Gay Street” which some believe is named for the homosexual population that lives in the area. It turns out this is just a misconception. The street is actually named after a lawyer and abolitionist, Sidney Gay.

“There were blacks living in that area and he tried to get them freedom and rights so they named the street after him,” Schneit said, “so there is no sexual connotation.”

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La Mama Moves! Opens this Week

This week marks the start of the one month long La Mama Moves! Dance Festival 2013. It is the 8th year of this celebration of dance, and will honor the many dance artists who have performed at La Mama over the years. Beginning on June 7 the festival will showcase ten premieres, some of them full-length creations by both new choreographers and veterans of the art form both local and international.

La Mama

Included in this exciting roster of choreographers are several who used to call New York their home, but are now plying their trade at the University of Illinois. Renee Wadleigh, an original member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company; Jennifer Monson, who was just honored at the Movement Research Gala of 2013 for her nature-based, site-specific performance art; and Renee Archibald will all share a program entitled “Jennifer Monson & Friends/NY/Urbana.

Also scheduled is the Pavel Zustiak’s highly praised adaptation of the classic allegorical novel The Painted Bird by Polish-born writer Jerzy Kosinski. The New York premier of the award-winning choreographer’s three part story is called The Painted Bird Trilogy and includes Bastard, Amidst and Strange Cargo. The first part was first performed at La Mama in November 2010; the rest taking two more years until completion. The story is highly emotional, following the travels and travails of a “young boy making his way through war-time Eastern Europe and a brilliantly painted bird that is violently killed by its own flock.”honored at the Movement Research Gala of 2013 for her nature-based, site-specific performance art; and Renee Archibald will all share a program entitled “Jennifer Monson & Friends/NY/Urbana.

For more information about the shows go to La Mama. The Dance Theater Club is located at 74a East 4th Street between Bowery and Second Avenue.

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Hirschbein’s The (*) Inn to Be Revived on the Lower East Side

TMT Revives The (*) Inn

TMT Revives The (*) Inn

A classic of Yiddish Theater is coming back to “haunt” us. Peretz Hirschbein’s classic tale, “The (*) Inn” is being re-staged by the Target Margin Theater of New York’s Lower East Side. First performed in Vilna in 1912, it was an immediate hit, and the show traveled on to London, and opened in New York in 1917.

The (*) is hard to translate; although it is most often rendered as “haunted” the Inn could just as easily mean empty, vacant, or abandoned. Whichever way the Yiddish is explained, the story is a symbolic tale of the lives and loves of country Jews, full of lust and angst. The subject was a favorite of Yiddish playwright, novelist, journalist, travel writer and theater director Hirschbien, who wrote about a dozen tales on the theme of rural Jews. A spokesman for Target Margin Theater describes the play as “Tevya on Drugs.”

The revival of The (*) Inn will be performed at the Abrons Art Center. Performances will run as follows:

March 7-30, Thursday through Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 7pm, with an additional performance on Monday, March 11 at 7pm. On Thursday, March 14 there will be a special benefit performance at 7pm.
Tickets are $20 until March 11, and $25 after that date.

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Ready for a Greenwich Adventure? How About CBGB?

Punk Rock Got Its Start in the Iconoclastic Bar CBGB

Punk Rock Got Its Start in the Iconoclastic Bar CBGB

Looking for something to do that is quintessentially ‘Village’? Then you must check out “CBGB.” Located at 315 Bowery at Bleeker Street, it is where you end up after taking a scenic walk down the historic Bleeker Street.

Mostly a bar, back in the day CBGB made a low risk bet when it gave a venue to the ‘not-too-good’ punk-rock band, the Ramones, and therefore launched a revolution in music. Some say that CBGB is the birthplace of the “modern hipster,” and who knows? Maybe they’re right.

So if you have a hankering for being smushed together in a less than comfortable space; perhaps having a beer or two spilled on your clothing; or feel a deep-seated need to visit one of the most horrific restrooms in town, then don’t hesitate to make a visit.  Not up for such and adventure? Try the downstairs space which affords its patrons a less ‘avant-garde’ experience.

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